West Ham players forced to defend friends and family from angry AZ fans after reaching Europa League final | Football news

AZ supporters broke down a wall and attacked West Ham forces sitting in a secure section of the AZ Stadium. A brawl ensued in which West Ham players, including captain Declan Rice, attempted to intervene; Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cottrell was at the scene in Alkmaar

23:50, UK, Thursday 18 May 2023

West Ham players were forced to defend their friends and family from angry AZ Alkmaar fans as violence broke out after beating the Dutch side to reach the Europa Conference League final.

Pablo Fornals scored in stoppage time to seal a 1-0 win for West Ham at Alkmaar as they progressed to their first European final for 47 years with a 3-1 aggregate victory, but the celebrations were marred by adversity. The cause was soon stopped. standing up

AZ supporters broke through the fence and attacked West Ham forces sitting in a secure section at the AZ Stadium. A brawl ensued in which the West Ham players tried to intervene.

Police and guards then reached the scene to prevent another clash and calmed down after 10 minutes.

Sky Sports News’ Gary Cotterill has the fan problem below after full-time of the game between West Ham and AZ Alkmaar.

talking to BT Sports After the game, manager David Moyes said: “We’ll need to wait for the dust to clear to see what it is but the big problem is that it’s an area where the players have all their family, friends and family.

“That’s where the problem came from and a lot of players got angry because they couldn’t see that they were right. But look, I don’t know. We have to wait and ask the authorities what really happened?”

said the match-winner Farnells Sky Sports News He doesn’t see much violence as he tries to keep his teammates out of trouble within but is concerned about the well-being of his friends and families.

“I didn’t see much because there’s nobody here to see me (Thursday),” he said. Sky Sports News. “I had no one to watch in that area and when the referee finally called for a set I threw myself on the floor and cried like a baby.

“After that I went inside and tried to keep the boys inside because we don’t need them as players. I’m really worried about my teammates’ families, I hope everyone is OK and the police can do their thing. Do the job and know who did it.

“I don’t think anyone should see their family being beaten. It’s not good when you’re in this beautiful moment and people who aren’t in the same moment try to use violence against you.

“There is nothing more we can do but try to help the police find out who did this and pray for the recovery of my people’s family.”

UEFA will await reports from the match officials and representatives before deciding on next steps.

From Alkmaar: ‘Wicked scenes at full time’

Sky Sports News Correspondent Gary Cottrell in Alkmaar:

“Good night for West Ham, they’re going into the Europa League final in Prague. But some unusual scenes, some really bad scenes at full-time.

“An area of ​​West Ham fans, many of whom were members of the West Ham family – relatives of the players and coaching staff, including Moyes’ 85-year-old father.

“At the final whistle some AZ fans came around wearing black face masks and started attacking that part of the stadium. The West Ham players were on the pitch celebrating what was going on and trying to help their family members. and went to the area to help his family.

“At that point the guards came in. It took a while, but then the police jumped in with riot gear and it was absolute chaos at that stage. You can understand the anxiety and worry of the West Ham players, who have to Stop their celebrations to make sure their family members are okay.

“In the end everyone was fine, but there were some ugly scenes and there are questions about the security of the stadium and how that was allowed. I don’t think the West Ham players or West Ham have anything to do with it. .explaining or blaming because they were just trying to help their families.

“An unusual and very difficult end to the evening.”

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